By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
The Israeli government believes it is locked in an epic struggle to save Israel from the growing movement calling for an international boycott. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu warns that Israel must quickly “rebrand” itself to avoid pariah status.
Ordinary Israelis are therefore being conscripted into an army of spin-doctors in a campaign termed hasbara – Hebrew for “public diplomacy”, or more literally “propaganda”.
Selling the occupation
In the latest offensive, the Education Ministry has launched a compulsory hasbara course for Israeli students travelling abroad. All youth delegations are now required to learn how to justify to outsiders Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. According to officials, the students must challenge those who “seek to delegitimise Israel”.
Some 85 per cent of Israelis tell pollsters they are keen to become hasbara ambassadors for the Netanyahu government.
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